Review: Saga #26
With re-introductions out of the way last issue, Saga settles in to tell the next chapter, and I like the sound of that. There’s a lot going on in the story these days, with at least three completely separate groups of main characters, each with their own separate storyline. I’m sure there will be an issue or two that focuses on just one at a time, but Saga #26 tackles them all, adding more depth and intrigue to each one in the process.
As such, this new issue moves the story along at a nice, enjoyable pace. We visit all the characters, meet some new ones, and little bits of intrigue are woven throughout.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
That makes Saga #26 another solid installment of the series. Saga isn’t so much slowing down as it is going in a bunch of different directions at once, and fortunately for us, each one is rather interesting. There’s Dengo the Crazy Janitor and his hostages, including series narrator Hazel. There’s Marko and his unlikely crew racing to their rescue. And then there’s Lying Cat and his various peeps on a really tangential side mission. I look forward to the day when all these stories come crashing together again, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy the journey.
Though I will point out that, for once, Saga has a cliffhanger that I don’t particularly like. Not in an ‘Oh my God, my heart is broken’ kind of way, more of an ‘Oh really? You’re going in that direction? Alright’ kind of way. But even then, I have full faith in writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples. There’s at least one pleasant surprise this issue, so it’s got that going for it.
Join me after the jump for a full synopsis and more review!
The issue opens in a random convenience store on some random planet, because Marko and his crew have made a pit stop. It’s really kind of shocking how ‘average American’ this convenience store looks, considering the space adventure we’re on.
Marko just happens to be inside the store when another Wreath person robs the place. Marko confronts the thief and uses spells to disarm him, then Marko beats the ever loving tar out of the guy.
The Sealboy rushes in to stop him, but Prince Robot IV is more than pleased to see that Marko still has an edge to him. Then as everybody heads back to the ship, Yuma reaches into the robber’s pocket and pulls out some drugs.
Elsewhere, Gwen, Lying Cat, Sophie, The Brand and the rest of them do battle with a bunch of giant lizard monsters. They’re trying to find a male lizard monster to get a sample of his seed to turn into a cure for The Will. Sophie suggests Gwen use her translator, and sure enough, it works on these lizard monsters, much to everyone’s surprise.
The lizard monsters tell the group that only one male remains, and he lives on some far off mountain. So I guess they’re heading to that far off mountain — though they’re being watched!
A male version of the spider aliens, like The Stalk, is watching the group through a sniper rifle. Dun dun dun!
Meanwhile, out in the depths of space, The Last Revolution has answered Dengo’s call for aid, but Alana tries desperately to convince him not to throw in with these terrorists. Dengo tells her it’s too late, and he meets with their envoys, including Quain, their snake alien leader.
Alana tries to speak out against The Last Revolution, but they use their powers to put Alana and her family to sleep, so they can talk to Dengo in peace. They’re able to confirm that Hazel is the real deal, and Dengo actually has some nice things to say about Alana and her mother-in-law. But then one of the Last Revolution notices the baby that Dengo is carrying. Everybody quickly realizes that Dengo is the Crazy Janitor who killed the Robot Princess and kidnapped the royal baby.
Dengo starts to protest, but Quain and company are actually very pleased to meet him! Quain gives Dengo a big hug, thanking him for putting the hurt to that “wretched monarchy.”
And here is the surprise I mentioned.
So Dengo is going to be a more sympathetic character than I thought? Very interesting!
Back with Marko and company, he’s off brooding when Yuma stops by for a chat. Marko still feels bad about striking his wife, and he doesn’t expect her or Hazel to take him back. He’s worried that he’s addicted to violence, even though he swore an oath against it. Then he realizes that Yuma is as high as a kite!
Marko asks where she got the drugs, and Yuma admits to taking them off the robber from the store. She says that a lot of veterans are taking drugs to cope, and she says that Marko is one of the only vets who isn’t on drugs. Marko asks if that’s the line Yuma used to get his wife hooked, and Yuma says that Alana embraced the drugs with open arms. She says Alana was desperately looking for a little peace.
That doesn’t sit right with Marko.
And sure enough, later that night, Prince Robot IV wakes from a nightmare and takes a walk through the ship. He finds Marko lying on the floor, strung out, having taken all the drugs.
I’m not too thrilled about that last twist. As I mentioned when Alana started taking drugs, I’m just not big into drug storylines. They don’t interest me. So seeing Marko like that irritates more than interests. The last thing his storyline needs right now is some extended ‘Marko is addicted to drugs’ subplot. No thank you.
But the rest of it was pretty good. Marko is struggling with some real issues here, like the idea that he doesn’t think his wife will take him back, even as he races across the galaxy to get her back. Maybe Vaughn has some kind of important statement about drugs to make, but I don’t know and don’t really care. I’m all in favor of heroes being flawed, it’s just that ‘drug addiction’ is not a flaw I’m interested in reading about.
The rest of the storylines fare a bit better. Sophie’s chat with the lizard monsters is a lot of fun, but there’s just not much to that specific story. A very random assortment of characters are on a pretty specific quest built on the giggle-worthy gag of needing dragon semen. The addition of a male spider alien sniper is pretty cool, perhaps, but I hope Vaughn doesn’t spend too much time on this storyline. They’ll go meet the male dragon, get his sperm, one of them will die tragically, and it’ll be a bummer.
Fortunately, Saga is never predictable, so hopefully Vaughn has something very different planned.
The juicy stuff comes from Dengo and his sudden potential turn to the Light Side of the Force. When faced with people even crazier than him, will he side with Alana and her family? I rather like that idea, it’s something I never expected. The Last Revolution looks to be a pretty gnarly bunch of folks, and it’ll be cool to see Alana and Klara face off against them, with Hazel caught in the middle, and Dengo as a wildcard.
I’m hoping, and am quite confident, that Saga has plenty of surprises and twists left in store. I might not agree with every direction Vaughn takes, but I haven’t lost an ounce of faith and enjoyment in Saga.